Grand Rapids Downtown Market to Host Second Annual Iron Chef-Style “Market Masters” Competition

On June 16th, the Grand Rapids Downtown Market will host “Market Masters 2, Back for Seconds,” an Iron Chef-Style competition pitting four teams of Downtown Market chefs and sous chefs against each other in a three-round live cooking contest, presented by KitchenAid. Like “Iron Chef,” each timed round will have a secret ingredient that the chefs must include as they develop their appetizer, main course or dessert recipes…on the spot.

Judges will rate each contestant’s efforts, and choose two teams from the first two rounds to move on to the finals. Only one winner will emerge from the rivalries as “Market Master.” Lisa Knight, director of the center for wellness at the Grand Rapids Urban League, will host the event, providing live commentary of each round to give the audience insight into what each team is creating.

Market Masters is presented by KitchenAid, located just south of Grand Rapids in St. Joseph, Mich. Event sponsors include Green Collar Farms, SMG, Experience Grand Rapids, Van Eerden, R. Hirt. Jr. Co., CLS and Imperial Beverage.

“KitchenAid strives to create products that bring culinary inspiration to life, with the ultimate goal of helping everyone from home cooks to professionals develop and meet their passions for cooking, baking and entertaining friends and family,” said Beth Robinson, senior brand experience manager for KitchenAid.

“What better way to do achieve this than through the Downtown Market – from their teaching kitchen and incubator kitchen, to local events and community outreach, – the Downtown Market shares the same passions that we do,” notes Robinson. “It’s a great partnership to jointly educate and inspire the next generation of home cooks through this exciting experience, highlighting local chefs’ passion as they bring their most creative culinary ideas to life.”

Tickets for the event include a glass of bubbly, desserts from Downtown Market favorites and an evening of entertainment. A cash bar will also be available, featuring fresh, specialty cocktails made with local spirits, as well as local brews and wine.

Returning champions Chris McKellar of Love’s Ice Cream and Rocket Pies, and Shelby Kibler of Field & Fire Bakery, will face off against three new teams of contestants, led by: Mike Santo, head chef at Social Kitchen & Bar, Genevieve Miskell, executive chef at Nutcase Vegan Meats and Taylor Deschaine, culinary lead at the Downtown Market.

“There is such a wonderful culture of collaboration here at the Downtown Market on a daily basis, with the businesses in our Market Hall and Incubator Kitchen working together to create amazing food items, and helping to support each other,” said Mimi Fritz, president and CEO of the Grand Rapids Downtown Market. “This is a fun way to take that collaboration and turn it into a friendly competition, where the true winners are the guests who get to watch the fun, and the community members who benefit from our Education Foundation.”

Proceeds from the event will benefit the Downtown Market Education Foundation, which supports culinary and nutritional education, entrepreneur opportunities and local food production, with the goal of creating a healthier community lifestyle. The foundation supports access to, and promotion of, fresh healthy foods for all, including disadvantaged families and children.

WHEN: June 16th, 7-10 p.m.

WHERE: Grand Rapids Downtown Market, 435 Ionia SW, Grand Rapids


About the Grand Rapids Downtown Market

The Grand Rapids Downtown Market is the region’s new choice for fresh, delicious foods and amazing public market merchants. The Market is a $30 million, self-sustaining, LEED-certified, mixed-use facility that brings together production, distribution, marketing and education about local foods and growing. It incorporates entrepreneur and experimentation space for both emerging and experienced food artisans and merchants including a 24-vendor Market Hall and two full-service restaurants. More at